According to a recent permit filing, Sophon will soon open its doors in the Phinney Ridge area, located at 7314 Greenwood Ave N Lower.
A representative of Sophon was not immediately available for commentary upon What Now Seattle’s request.
According to Sophon’s Instagram biography section, their opening date is slated to be January 5th, 2024.
Sophon will be “an homage of gratitude for Khmer cuisine.” Through the vessel that has been the community-driven craft cocktail bar, Oliver’s Twist, a new chapter will unfold with the inception of Sophon, a brick-and-mortar embodiment of a Covid-influenced Cambodian pop-up.
The founders hailed from first-generation Cambodians to immigrant parents who fled the devastation of the Khmer Rouge. Growing up in diverse locations like Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Lowell, and Long Beach, CA, the founders faced the challenges of assimilating into Western culture while navigating impoverished neighborhoods in the late 80s and 90s.
Amidst these struggles, home became a sanctuary, a place to refocus and ground themselves. The Long family, headed by a nurturing mother, created a haven where everyone, regardless of circumstances, was left well-nourished and comforted through the language of food.
The family matriarch, known to many as Kimberly (born Sophon), shared her love for Khmer cuisine with her children. Having escaped the horrors of the Khmer Rouge as a refugee with humble roots, she showcased resilience and resourcefulness in adapting to a new life in the U.S. Kimberly’s kitchen became a classroom, where her children not only learned to cook Khmer food but also imbibed valuable life lessons.
Prep work, once perceived as a chore, evolved into cherished moments where conversations, jokes, and anecdotes were shared among siblings. Kimberly, the eldest sibling herself, transferred skills learned in her youth in Cambodia to contribute to her family. Her modest garden, boasting over 15 varieties of Southeast Asian vegetables, herbs, and fruits, became a classroom in itself, emphasizing the importance of fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.
Beyond the culinary skills passed down through generations, Kimberly instilled a deep appreciation for food and a poignant understanding that it should never be wasted. The family’s journey from the struggles of 1975-1979 to rebuilding after the fall of the Khmer Rouge reinforced the notion that food is a precious gift, one that should be treasured in honor of ancestors who endured starvation. Through Sophon, the founders aim to share this rich heritage, weaving a narrative of resilience, cultural pride, and the enduring gift of Cambodian cuisine, the company website and pledge campaign stated.
Update: The title has been edited to reflect the accuracy of the background to Sophon.